media relations

They say it’s not “what you know,” it’s “who you know.” That idiom has some legs, but this isn’t an “either / or” world. If you want to be successful, especially in any form of communication, you need to know what you’re doing, and you need to know who wants what you offer.

That basic fact will not change, no matter what kind of media we have and who is running it. The relationships you have with the right media outlets are a huge metric in determining your capacity for success, whether you are the brand or you are helping to promote one.

No matter how fast things move in today’s media market — and they definitely move fast — knowing the right people and having the right content or message to offer them can help keep you grounded, slow down the lightning-fast treadmill, and bring everything together at a pace that allows you to do your best work.

Here’s the secret: that isn’t new. Media has always moved at a blinding pace. Newsrooms were always a hive of controlled chaos, and information was always distributed best because of relationships with the right people.

What has changed? The focus of those relationships. Don’t get ahead of me and make the wrong assumptions. You definitely still need to have carefully cultivated relationships with key people in Big Media outlets. But if you are not connecting with other key people across the spectrum of media, you are missing huge opportunities to connect your brand with a ready audience.

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From popular local news channels, to YouTube personalities and “Mommy Bloggers,” the new media revolution is here. In fact, for certain brands in specific markets, these kinds of connections can prove to be the most important. Your market may very well be one that pays much closer attention to local news, bloggers, or social media pages than they do to the Big Four on TV or their local print publication.

If that’s your market you need to know, because these connections are all about relationships. Social media and blogging is not about putting information out there. It’s about connection, about conversation, about drawing people in and finding ways to keep them connected by making them feel a part of your life… making them feel important. Because the people and channels that are best at this understand the need for relationship, they will appreciate your efforts to build relationship before you ask them for something.

And that step is fundamental. As with media representatives at larger outlets, people are more apt to pay attention if you understand who they are and what they’re looking for, and you craft your message to fit their audience.

Big or small, no matter where you want your brands to “be the news,” then you need to be a known quantity and a proven source. Especially when it comes to smaller outlets and their painstakingly cultivated audience, they need to trust you before they put you in front of their audience.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.